This is slightly tangential to the blinking star query but in a similar ballpark. For much of September I was captivated by the sight of Jupiter,
which from around the night of the 8th (when I first noticed it), looked bigger than I ever remember seeing it. (We also had some truly spectacular
clear nights here in hertfordshire, in which you could easily make out the colours of stars, red, blue, green, orange, purple, you name it, it was
Anyway, after a week or so of going into raptures over how amazing Jupiter looked I decided to try to photograph it, because it was very close to the
moon and so doubly pretty. I have a fairly ordinary Lumix camera with a Lecia lens that zooms in x12, and I proceeded to take a series of pictures
that were notably primarily because I just couldn't get Jupiter in focus. Obviously my hand kept wobbling and although the planet came out extremely
bright - brighter than the moon - it was all over the place and I basically photographed a series of fluorescent looking squiggles next to an
iridescent egg-shaped moon.
When I went through the photos later I spent a while making hieroglyphs and letters out of the squiggly jupiter, but a few shots into the series I saw
one that made me feel quite proud. To the above right of the moon was a perfectly round planet that looked huge in size and was evidently - unlike all
the others - completely in focus. I was really pleased at having managed this and although I questioned the fact that on this particular photo -
unlike all the others - 'Jupiter' was grey-black, apparently in shadow, rather than dazzling white light, I didn't think too much of it. I was just
glad I'd got one in focus.
Last night, however, one thing and another got me to think about this photo yet again. I'd gone back to look at it several times but always drew the
same conclusion that it was simply a brilliantly in-focus shot of the moon and jupiter. I realised last night, however, that it almost definitely
could NOT have been Jupiter, for the simple reason that it was grey, round and shadowed rather than a brilliant light, and at least 3 times the size
of Jupiter in the other pics. When I studied the photo again it also dawned on me for the first time that not only was it a different looking in terms
of brightness - or lack of - it was also about half the distance from the moon compared with Jupiter on the other shots.
When I zoom in on this thing it looks like a crazy planet or some kind of mothership, it is surreal. I showed it to two camera buffs and they also
found it strange, we don't think it's lens flare or dust as the rest of the image is totally lucid, no orbs or anything like that. We don't think it
can be a lens flare as it's perfectly round with clearly defined edges (not blurred) and these weird pock-marks on the surface. Plus it's not glowing
in any way. I"m going to upload it below along with a comparison of Jupiter so you can see what I mean. If they don't come out hi res enough for you
to see I'm happy to email them onto people who want to look for themselves.
The first picture here is the least squiggly one of jupiter so you can compare.
edit on 28-9-2011 by charlottecowell because: my photos came out too small, trying to insert bigger ones